Thursday, March 26, 2009

Tragedy and Hope


I haven't written about this yet, well because it is just hard to put into words. I didn't know how much there would be to say about the whole thing really, seven years later. But, it seems that although the years seem to pass and life goes on memories of this day permiate me. Without going into extreme detail, I was the driver in a pedestrian accident. He walked out inbetween two parked cars, not in a crosswalk at 9 at night. He was walking with a friend who saw me and stopped, and he didn't. He lived for 5 days, and then passed away. Even writing this here feels like another persons life, another persons tragedy. But, its not, it is mine to bear. I spent many years dealing with this and working through the range of greif and emotions that comes with experiencing a trama such as this. It doesn't matter how many police officers, parents, or friends tell you that it was an accident. You are still alive and they aren't. Its that complicated and really that simple. For a very long time I lived in a state of being paralized. But, a counselor told me that I had a choice. I could live and move on with my life, or I could die that day too and give up. I know that part of my heart didn't survive that day. I was never quite the same afterward, friends found me difficult and different. Who wouldn't be? There were the ones that have stuck with me through all of this. They have seen my tremendous growth in the past few years. Meeting Chris and having Bradley has healed a huge hole that might not have ever been filled. But, even though I have gotten stronger and moved on. Today is a day that can bring me to my knees. I guess this is a difficult day just to get out of bed, still this many years later. I don't have a lot of people talk to me or ask me about it anymore. I think they all want to believe that I am healed and I have moved on with my life. That's fine, but I haven't. This is a part of me, and I think of him and his family all of the time, especially today and on Monday. Well, I can't believe that I am going to publish this, but I am. I will send it out there for everyone to pick apart. But, this blog is about me and my family. This is me...strong, broken, weak, healed, hurt, fixed, happy, mourning...all rolled into one.


Tabitha said...

Thank you so much for sharing this with us ~ I can understand that no matter what anyone says you will always blame yourself ~ but accidents do happen ~ I witnessed this kind of thing all the time when I was a Police Officer.

You are a wonderful person ~
Take care ~ sending love and big hugs your way XXXXXX

Anonymous said...

Well I will be the first brave one to comment.It broke our hearts to see you in that tremendous pain. My eyes tear up just writing this. As a parnet you want to take the hurt away, but no matter what you do or say it won't leave. We couldn't imagine what his family was going through. Our entire family's life was upside down. You were certainly changed that day. I worried we lost a little girl and we would never see her again after that horrific experience and all the stuff we had to deal with afterward. BUT your Mom and I take great pride in watching you grow into a wonderful women, wife, and mother. I know you are different, but we are all different from how we started for many different reasons. I know Joe is very proud to see you proving you can go on and be strong. You give back, to you family, friends, your students, and your community. That is all good stuff that makes us all very proud of you. Love, Dad.

amanda said...

oh wow claire - my heart breaks for you and your story. but how very brave you are for sharing :)

thinking of you today...

Heather @ boy, girl, and a pug said...

Thank you for sharing. What an awful thing to have to go through. I can't even imagine. Big hugs coming your way friend.

Lisa@verybusymomwith4 said...

Oh that's so terrible. I can only imagine how you must feel. BUT you are still here and you are here for a reason (you named two very big ones already!). I think your post is going to help someone somewhere.
Thank you for being so brave and sharing!

Katie said...

I'll be praying for you today and over the next few days. You are very strong to have endured this. And I love your title because there IS hope in this life. How else would we survive all the heartache there is? Thanks for sharing, Clare.
Love you!

Amanda said...

You have been so brave sharing this with us.
I cannot even begin to imagine what you have and are still going through to this very day.
But please take the time to remember that you are a good person and a wonderful Mother to Bradley and Wife to Chris.
It wasn't your fault ~ as Tabitha has already written.


Amanda x

Anonymous said...


You are an amazing woman. I echo your Dad's words, Joe would be proud of the person you are today. Please know that your friends are here for you when you need to talk.

Lots of love,

Just A Mom (Call me JAM for short) said...

Clare, as I read your post my heart ached for you. And I know there is really nothing I could say to you that your family and friends haven't already said.

Lean on those that love you when you are feeling weak. And in times of strength, you will be there for them...

I found this quote and I hope it can be a reminder of all the good things you deserve and have in your life at this moment. Your past is a part of you but don't let it define who you are tomorrow.

“Nobody can go back and start a new beginning, but anyone can start today and make a new ending.” ~Maria Robinson

My thoughts are with you.

amy said...

You are a VERY good person Clare. Experiences in life, both good and bad, are all about what you make of them. Thinking of you & thankful that we have been able to connect via our blogs. We need to get together some day & craft, drink a glass of wine, etc. xo

Kristen Andrews said...

Clare I am so sorry, I can only imagine how you must feel. My thoughts and prayers are w/ you.

Halftime Lessons said...

I hope this was even just a little cathartic for you, Clare. As you know,, my family carries stuff around too, and it will never be fully in the background.

What a wonderful thing to have your Dad show his support on here...value that support and believe what they say.

I hope that you have found the happiness that your photos show, and that your beautiful family helps you to blur this memory with happier ones.


Stephanie said...

WOW...What an experience. I could not imagine the emotions that fills your heart each day after experiencing something like that. You are a strong, brave, and heartfelt person. This unfortunate event may have marked a sad day in your life, but god has a plan for you and maybe not now you'll see that this event will be of good to you and/ or someone else you are meant to help. I'll be praying for you...keep your head up and smile because you are wonderful and amazing!!

Amy said...

I could feel your broken heart through the words that you typed. I'm so sorry that had to happen to you.

Be Blessed,


Janna said...

Dear Sweet Clare -

I am so proud of you. Reading your blog this morning has really shown me how far you have come and it continues to reaffirm what an amazing, strong, and caring person you are. Your capacity to love and be loved is one of the things I admire most about you and it fills me with joy to see that you are once again able to love yourself with this same unconditional devotion that you have for others. I cherish our friendship and all that we have gone through together over the years.

With Love and Admiration,

Kellie said...

I'm Kellie. I've read your sisters blog for a long while now.

Just wanted to tell you what a beautiful post this is. I know it was so very hard to write, but I am proud of you for having the courage to do so.

I am certain there are people out there who will read this and be encouraged in the face of hardship.

paige said...

sweet sweet clare
i am glad you shared this part of your life with us. i love what your precious daddy had to say to you.
i am so sorry you had to go through such a horrific accident .

please know you are in my prayers, right now, sweet friend

god will use this for His good, He will. he is creating in you a steadfast heart & an amazing part of your testimony that can only be for his glory.

hugs to you precious!

TheSamuelFamily said...

I'm so sorry. I had no idea this had happened. You are such a strong woman, mom and wife and there is a reason you are here. Your beautiful little boy and wonderful husband I'm sure have helped heal you from his tragedy. No words can express how much my heart goes out to you. You are such a strong person for posting this and I'm thinking about my friend.

Annmarie said...

Clare, All that I want to say is "I LOVE YOU"!! You have come so far with all of this terrible sadness in your life. I think about you every year around this time. Two angels were sent to you. One was born today, March 27th and he entered your life just when you needed him most. (love you Chris) The other angel is your sweet Bradley. You are a strong, caring, wonderful, sweet woman, mother, wife, daugher, sister, sister-in-law, cousin, niece, and person. You should be so prove of yourself with all that you had to handle. Be Srtong!! You are so loved!!! Especially by me xoxoxo

Jodee Leader said...

Claire -- I, too, am so sorry you had to experience such a tragedy. I will keep you in my thoughts and prayers on this difficult day.

Susan said...

What an amazingly courageous post!
My initial thoughts were of how far you must have come because your posts on this blog don't reflect sadness and a shell of a person, they reflect someone who finds so much joy in her family, friends, and all that surrounds her.
When I read the comments and saw how lovingly you are supported by those that know you, it made me smile to think that on this day each year, though you will never forget and probably always reflect, you will be better because you are LOVED.

Carly said...

I am so proud of you for sharing your story! And by the number of comments, it is obvious that your vulnerability and honesty has touched so many! You are a magnificant person; a true testiment to Jesus Christ! Much love to you!!!

Krystyn said...

I certainly hope nobody picks you apart.

Thank your for sharing this story. Something similar might have happened to somebody that read this and they might have been in the same place.

I pray that you are able to find peace and forgive yourself.

laura said...

Dear Clare,

Jenny shared this sad story with me shortly after it happened many years ago...

You are right...After something like this, you will never quite be the same. You may never really move on. But, you can become a better person because of it. You took this tragedy and, through your heartbreaking experiences, became the wonderful daughter, sister, wife, mother and friend you are today. You should be proud!

Thinking of you today! XOXO!

Christy said...

Ugh. So sorry friend. Thinking of you.

3 Peanuts said...


I am so proud of you for opening your heart and sharing with others. I am sure that was SO hard to write and publish but I believe it is part of your healing and you have made huge strides. That day has changed you forever. I am sure some is even for the better.

You are very brave and very loving. I will pray for you as I know this is such a hard time of year. Lots of love,

The Justice Family said...

Clare I just caught up on your blog and read this post. I know it took a lot of courage to get this on paper. I hope it was another step in the healing process and that you'll find even more peace as time goes on.

OHmommy said...

your honesty is so pure and so lovely. putting it into words is part of the healing process. you are sweet, clare. so very sweet.